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About this collection

Project Tinkertoy was the code-name for a development and proof of concept project undertaken by the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) to create a process for automated manufacture of electronic equipment and for demonstrating it on a pilot production line. The pilot plant had to be compatible with the principles of modular design and mechanized production of electronics, or MDE and MPE. The pilot plant was up and running by 1953. An estimate of the manufacturing cost was made and found to be 44 percent lower than conventional processes. While NBS’s modular design was not used directly in industry, the modular design and mechanized production concepts became the customary way of producing electronic equipment. [From: A Unique Institution by Elio Passaglia, pp. 201, 203]. This collection of images includes design models for the plant, plant machinery, and examples of the components produced.

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